Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Classics - Strange Adventures #198

   In Pro Wrestling terms, I'm a "mark" for DC's science fiction comics, like Strange Adventures and Mystery in Space (in other words, I'm a fan).

   But despite that, I would quickly admit that the quality of those books varied widely.

   I'm sorry to say that this issue from 1967 lands on the low end of the scale.

   It includes two stories - a standard science fiction story, "Danger! Earth is Doomed!" It's billed as "A 2-in-1 Sci-Fi Thriller!" (Don't they know that science fiction fans hate the term "sci-fi?")

   The story features two separate scientists who make ground-breaking discovering, but find that they must work together to avert the impending doom. It's pretty slim stuff.

   The other story in the issue features a hero who never caught on - for good reason. The Immortal Man started life as a hero who had lived and died 100 times in the span of his life, which stretched back into pre-history - but that wasn't enough to make him interesting, so the (uncredited) creative team gave him an assortment of powers - in fact, he seems to be able to do anything. He has super-strength, he can fly, and he can do anything with his vision powers, including molecule molding, condensation radiation, vibration rays, crystal ball vision - there's apparently no limit to his powers.

    And if he dies, he's reborn! There's no explanation about how this happens - does he take over someone else's body? Perhaps he replaces them at the moment of their death? Or does his new body spring, fully grown, into the world?

   He fights an assortment of menaces here, including a strange invasion of powerful apes. Of course.

   It's mighty thin stuff, and a good example of why this character never caught on - in fact, this was his final appearance in his own story.

   Even though the issue is a miss, I was happy to find this issue (I bought it at a convention a few weeks ago) - it may be silly, but it's still entertaining and a reminder of the earlier glory days of the title.

Grade: C



Anonymous said...

I don't know who wrote the stories but Bernard Bailey drew the first and Jack Sparling the second (as well as the cover.)

Sam Kujava

Chuck said...

Thanks, Sam! One of my faults as a reviewer (ok, one of many) is I sometimes don't do the legwork to track down the names of those early, uncredited creators - if it's not listed in the comic, I often just go with that. Also, I don't always agree with the judgment of the site that assigns credits. But in this case, I think you're spot on.